CHENNAI: The great Maurya emperor Ashoka had erected a Buddhist stupa in present-day Kancheepuram in the third century BC when the city was an early Buddhist settlement, says senior archaeologist R Nagaswamy. "Historical evidence shows that the earliest ruler of Kancheepuram was Ashoka. Though there is evidence to show the existence of a stupa built by him in Kancheepuram, we have not been able to locate the site so far," he said.
"A seven-foot high Buddha sculpture in the Kamakshi temple stands testimony to the strong influence of Buddhism in the region. The stylistic pattern shows that it's from the third century BC," he said. Nagaswamy was speaking at "Kanchi Mahaamani", a two-day Pechu Kacheri organised by the Tamil Heritage Trust to celebrate the heritage of the state, at the Tamil Virtual Academy on Saturday.